Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Guardian
Prime minister Ehud Olmert today raised the spectre of the disintegration of the state of Israel unless a two-state solution with the Palestinians could be reached.
Drawing a parallel with the last days of the apartheid regime in South Africa he warned: "If the day comes when the two-state solution collapses, and we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights (with Palestinians) ... then, as soon as that happens, the state of Israel is finished."

Today's warning came in an interview with Haaretz newspaper.

The remarks were published after Olmert and the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, this week agreed at a US-sponsored peace conference to resume negotiations on the creation of a Palestinian state for the first time in seven years.

Israel is sensitive to any comparison to formerly apartheid South Africa, but Olmert has aired such views before. When he was deputy prime minister under Ariel Sharon four years ago, he favoured a withdrawal from most of the territories taken in the 1967 war that would leave Israel with a "maximum" number of Israelis and a "minimum" of Palestinians.

Olmert also warned about the loss of support of the Jewish diaspora once the question became framed in terms of one man, one vote.
Multi-ethnic states are now the model. Some would say they always have been.

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